"We prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be."

Summer Bridge 2020




Welcome to Summer Bridge 2020! 

As the School was wrapping up the final weeks of our distance learning program for this academic year, our faculty and administrative staff have been busy creating an optional program for students called "Summer Bridge," a name chosen because the program itself is designed to bridge 2019-2020 to 2020-2021.

We recognize that, like our teachers and administrative staff, parents have had to shoulder a lot during this pandemic. We know that a lot has been asked of you during these last few months, and we are grateful for your partnership every step of the way. Our desire in creating Summer Bridge is not only to give your students optional academic and enrichment pursuits, but also to thank you for your understanding and support during these ever-shifting times. These programs are all free to enrolled Friends students.  

Please read each division’s section of the Summer Bridge Course Catalog below for details about the various offerings and note the deadlines to register a preference for specific courses. Please note: Registration deadlines are next week (MS and US on Tuesday; LS on Wednesday). We are very enthusiastic about Summer Bridge and hope you and your children will be also. If you have any questions, please call the appropriate divisional office.

Have a wonderful summer!


Principal Bo Lauder


All-School Summer Bridge

The Center for Peace, Equity and Justice (CPEJ) will be offering the following summer programming open to all Friends Seminary community adult members and students ages 10+. Younger students may attend with an adult.

Affinity Spaces and Community-Wide Dialogues

The pandemic and racial violence have further exposed fundamental inequalities and vulnerabilities in our country. The moral call for deeper reflection and education on race, racial identity, and racial justice has surfaced in our community with exceptional clarity. Our recent community-wide dialogue in solidarity for racial justice made this point abundantly clear. 

Friends Seminary is part of this world where race and violence often mix and is evolving in our understanding and practice of racial justice. As Bo wrote in his recent community letter, “Friends Seminary is not a perfect institution…we will continue examining ourselves as an institution for flaws where hurt may still be hidden.” To further the work of racial awareness and racial justice among Friends community members, Center for Peace, Equity and Justice staff will organize two rounds of facilitated dialogue for reflection and learning over the summer. Round one will take place in June and July and round two in August. Each round will consist of a series of affinity spaces and a community-wide dialogue. A round will begin with different affinity spaces for Black folks, non-Black people of color, and white community members interested in anti-racism. Afterward, a community-wide dialogue for reflection and sharing will take place where we might all come together and learn from each other’s experiences.

Research suggests that inter-group conversations tend to be more productive when participants have first deepened their learning in affinity spaces designed to help them analyze their particular racial identities and experiences. While each affinity space will be designed specifically for the group it is serving, all spaces will work towards bringing about a more just world. As Adrienne Maree Brown reminds us, transformation happens in community when we gather with open hearts and minds as learners and not as experts––what she calls “less prep, more presence.”

Please find the dates and Zoom links below. We ask that you only attend the groups with which you self-identify. Students ages 10 and up, as well as faculty/administrative staff and parents/caregivers, are welcome to attend.

Program Facilitator(s): CPEJ Staff—Jason, Kimby and Leitzel; Adrienne, Isabel and Pankti

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

Lower School Summer Bridge

Friends Seminary is excited to offer the first Lower School Summer Bridge enrichment program to its families. The goal of summer program offerings in the Lower School is twofold: to encourage continued development of specific academic skills while practicing good work habits, and offering some potential structure for our families during this most unusual summer.  All of the following events, programming, and academic offerings are purely optional for families. The FSOP ZOOM Summer Adventure Series registration is live. Details and Zoom links to all other program offerings will be provided through The Owlet (K newsletter) and Summer Postcards (Grades 1-4 newsletter) as the summer progresses. Watch your Inbox for updates. Parents can reach out to the Lower School Office with any questions.

Friends Seminary Outdoor Program (FSOP) ZOOM Summer Adventure Series: K-4

One of the Summer Bridge Lower School offerings is a Zoom live series with our Outdoor Education staff, Deanna Yurchuk and Jack Phelan. These three courses have a limited enrollment number, and families should register their interest by end of day on Wednesday, June 17. On Monday, June 22, families will receive a confirmation of their enrollment.

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • FSOP Summer Adventure Series: Reading in a Canoe on the Hudson River

    This is the first episode of the FSOP Summer Adventure ZOOM Series for Grades K-3. FSOP staff, Deanna and Jack, will share some interesting history about the Hudson River. Together we will embark on a journey on the Hudson River, learning fun facts along the way. Maiija Lisa Niemesto of the Norrie Point Environmental Center will read “River” by Elisa Cooper while sitting in her canoe on the Hudson River near the Norrie Point Environmental Center.  Join us for an exciting story of a paddle down the Hudson from the headwaters to the Atlantic Ocean. Registration deadline Wednesday, June 17. Confirmation of enrollment will be emailed by June 19.

    Program Dates | Times: Thursday, June 25  | 10-10:45 AM 

    Course Instructor(s):
    Jack Phelan and Deanna Yurchuk

    Participation Eligibility | Enrollment Limit:
    LS  | 20 participants (first come, first served)

    Register Interest here
    :
    https://forms.gle/4GMyztNg78RqYVag8
  • FSOP Summer Adventure Series: Outdoor Skills and Adventure

    Do you want to become an outdoor person this summer? Come learn and hone some basic outdoor skills with us in this second episode of the FSOP Summer Adventure ZOOM Series. We’ll learn how to stay found on a trail, the essential things we need when heading outside, how to navigate using nature, and a few more building blocks to get you ready for your next adventures. Registration deadline Wednesday, June 17. Confirmation of enrollment will be emailed by June 19.
     
    Program Dates | Times: Friday, July 10 | 10-10:45 AM 

    Course Instructor(s):
    Jack Phelan and Deanna Yurchuk

    Participation Eligibility| Enrollment Limit:
    LS | 20 participants (first come, first served)

    Register Interest here: https://forms.gle/4GMyztNg78RqYVag8
     
  • FSOP Summer Adventure Series: The Natural World

    In our third and final episode of the FSOP Adventure ZOOM Series we will explore how we can be good stewards of the natural world. What is your Land Ethic? Join us as we learn about Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics (LNT), play some games, and become stronger stewards of the land. Registration deadline Wednesday, June 17. Confirmation of enrollment will be emailed by June 19. 

    Program Dates | Times: Tuesday, Aug 11 | 10-10:45 AM 

    Course Instructor(s):
    Jack Phelan and Deanna Yurchuk

    Participation Eligibility | Enrollment Limit:
    LS | 20 participants (first come, first served)

    Register Interest here: https://forms.gle/4GMyztNg78RqYVag8
     

Incoming Kindergarten

Communication

The Owlet

The Owlet is a newsletter sent to all of our youngest, newest Friends families. This correspondence is from the Lower School Office, sent to incoming Kindergarten families every other Thursday in the summer. 
The Owlet will feature:
  • Important messaging and reminders (Kindergarten Placement to be published in the first volume of The Owlet, out on July 2)
  • Recommended summer reading
  • Details for upcoming live events: times, dates and Zoom links will be provided for upcoming event sessions (for parents and for kids)
  • Optional Virtual Synchronous and Asynchronous Community Activities
  • A Film Premiere! (made just for our Kindergarten students)
  • Reminders to any PA-hosted events.

Community Video Series

Through a series of fun, dynamic, high-quality, engaging videos, families will learn about what is special about Kindergarten at Friends Seminary. Expect: puppets, stop motion, animation, guest characters, and important information about our reopening, community, and values. Our Drama teacher, Shayna, will share these resourceful videos via The Owlet throughout the summer. 
  • Episode I:  Introduction to Kindergarten teachers 
  • Episode II:  Introduction to Friends Spaces and Places
  • Episode III:  Introduction to the SPICES

Synchronous Offerings: Kindergarten

These Zoom sessions will offer opportunities for students and parents to connect to various community members at Friends Seminary; providing an early introduction to some of the people with whom Kindergarten families will be interacting this fall. Dates and Zoom links to be provided through The Owlet newsletter.

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

Asynchronous Offerings: Kindergarten

These asynchronous offerings from Kindergarten teachers and the LS Office Staff offer engaging activities that parents may want to use as enrichment for their child.

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • Kindergarten Kit from the Kindergarten Teacher

    This recommended, curated "work" kit provides recommendations prepared by teachers, as additional optional support, enrichment, and activities for the summer. Digital packets will be sent from The LS Office.
  • LS Office Enrichment Activities

    Via The Owlet, the LS Office will highlight various engaging activities that the Kindergarteners can try at home. Examples: how to make your own lava lamp science experiment, practice your Spanish colors, and play a family math game like ‘Dotty Six’.

Grades 1-4

Communication 

Summer Postcards

Summer Postcards will be a check-in correspondence from the Lower School Office, sent to our Friends Parents, Grades 1-4, throughout the summer. Here, we will feature:
  • Important messaging and reminders 
  • Recommended summer reading
  • Details for upcoming live events (for parents and for kids)
  • Optional Virtual Community Periods
  • Highlights for recommended optional Virtual Academic Programming

Synchronous Offerings: Grades 1-4

These Zoom sessions will offer opportunities for students in Grades 1-4 to interact with LS teachers and other community members at Friends Seminary. We even have a few Zoom interactive sessions for parents! Dates and Zoom links to be provided through the Summer Postcards newsletter.

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Back in the Saddle! August Live Lessons

    This summer enrichment elective serves as a check-in with a select group of classroom teachers who will lead small groups of students to practice, review, and reinforce fundamental skills in Math and ELA, for grades 1-4. Dates and enrollment information will be provided through the Summer Postcards newsletter.
  • For Kids - Summer Community Period

    Similar to the various Community Period offerings during the year, the LS Office will be hosting live events like read alouds, art shares, word games, and special guests from the FS Community. Dates and Zoom links to be provided through the Summer Postcards newsletter.
     
  • For Parents - Zoom Events Hosted by Erin and Kelly

    Examples: Getting Ready For Back-to-School; Grade Level Reopening Town Halls (Dates and Zoom links to be provided through the Summer Postcards newsletter.)

Asynchronous Offerings: Grades 1-4

These asynchronous offerings will provide engaging activities that parents may want to use as enrichment for their child. These suggestions are optional and are designed to offer students the opportunity to brush up on skills learned this year.

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Academic Summer Work Packets

    Curated content prepared by classroom teachers and specialists. This "work" provides recommendations prepared by teachers, as additional optional support, enrichment, and activities for the summer. These are optional and work does not need to be handed into teachers in the fall. Digital packets will be sent from The LS Office alongside Erin Gordon, Head of Lower School’s welcome letter to families.

Middle School Summer Bridge

Friends Seminary is excited to launch the first Middle School Summer Bridge enrichment electives, which we offer as remote learning courses from the weeks of June 29-July 17. Some classes are offered as one-week classes, some are two-consecutive-week classes of synchronous learning and a few are short mini workshops of a few days. For classes that occur during the July 4 holiday, instructors will work with enrolled students and families on determining whether classes meet on July 3 or whether rescheduling that class makes more sense. 

Our hope is to run most classes with a minimum of eight students and a maximum of 15 students if there is an appetite for these courses. We hope to offer one course to any interested student who registers by the end of the day on Tuesday, June 16, and if we are able, a second class as well. We will cancel any classes with registration of fewer than eight students.

On your registration form, you are encouraged to record a preference of up to four courses. If there are only three (or two or one) in which you have an interest, you may register for a single class. Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Once you have reviewed the elective offerings, please register student preferences here. Confirmation of course enrollment will be emailed to the registrant by Monday, June 22.
 

Middle School Bridge Offerings

List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • Commit to be Fit!

    The main objective of this course is to teach students fundamental fitness
    concepts through safe, fun, and active fitness activities. Students will learn more about the 5 components of fitness, how to goal set, how to perform a variety of different exercises, and even how to create/design their own workout programs by using the F.I.T.T principle as a guideline. It will be a great start in learning new ways to stay fit and healthy, and having fun while doing it!

    Course Dates | Times: July 6- 17 | 11 AM- 12 PM

    Course Instructor(s): Deanna Petrucci
     
  • Cooking Middle Eastern Cuisine

    We will spend one week, 4 synchronous classes with required prep before each class, exploring Levantine cuisine. We'll start off with two salads crucial to the Levant, fattoush and tabbouleh. On the second day we'll move to mezzeh sides, hummus and labneh. The third day we'll try our hand at making an Arab sweets, basbousa. And finally, on the fourth day we'll travel west to Egypt and learn to make koshary, a national Egyptian dish. All choices were made with consideration to keep the ingredients lists as simple as possible.

    Course Dates | Times: July 13-17 | 1:30-2:30 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Joseph Sills

    Materials Needed:
    Students will need basic kitchen equipment (stove, oven, bowls, pots, pans, knives). A blender is preferred but not essential for hummus. Middle Eastern spices (cumin, sumac, coriander, turmeric) can enhance flavors. The teacher will provide a full and a pared down ingredients list for each recipe in order to accommodate acquiring specialty ingredients, but students should consider that sometimes a specialty ingredient (most notably semolina flour for basbousa sweets) is essential.
  • Creative Writing Bursts

    This is the course to get your imagination flowing and your pen (or keyboard) going! Through a series of short, engaging exercises and activities, you will have a chance to explore different kinds of creative writing and to share your writing with a supportive audience. Write to music, write to images, write solo, write with a partner, write poems, write stories, write funny dialogues...no two classes will be the same! And what kinds of writing do YOU want to do most? There's a lot of freedom and flexibility in this course, so feel free to bring your own ideas to the table. If you love to write and share your writing with others, we can't wait for you to join us! (Note: There will be no homework for this course.)

    Course Dates | Times: June 29-July 10 |  3-4 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Leana Phipps
  • Digital Music-Making: Collaborative Recording with Kristin!

    At all times but especially with the present state of the world, music has the power to heal, to transform, and to give voice to our lived experiences. In making music, we invite others to gather, to reflect, to mourn, to celebrate. Without the ability to gather and make music in person, Kristin invites students to lean into some digital tools that enable collaborative music-making from afar.

    In this session, students will record, edit, and share music using digital platforms. In the beginning of the first week, we will explore recording and editing tools. Students will engage in circle-singing with Kristin, with other students, and with themselves. They will build skills and strengthen their confidence with Soundtrap (audio only) and Acapella (audio + video).
    By the end of the first week, students will choose a song to focus on for a recording project, either alone or in self-selected groups. Students can participate in a variety of projects designed by Kristin, or they can design their own. Tabb Dendy, our collaborative pianist, will be on hand to record anything that students need for their projects. Projects designed by Kristin include:
    • Choose a song you like. Get a piano track from Tabb. Record your voice. Optional: add harmony and/or collaborators.
    • Choose a song you like. Create and record your own arrangement of it (with instruments or a cappella).
    • Create a circle-song by layering your own voice. Optional: add collaborators.
    • Write and record an original song. (No previous songwriting experience necessary.)
    Course Dates | Times: June 29-July 10 | 2:30-3:30 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Kristin Marchilena

    Materials Needed: A device with access to either a) the Soundtrap mobile app or b) the Soundtrap website via the Google Chrome browser; a mobile device with access to the free app Acapella; headphones; a quiet(ish) space to record music; optional but *definitely not* required: a USB microphone (and adapter, if necessary).
  • ¡Distancias! A soap-opera workshop to improve spoken Spanish

    “¡Distancias!” is a two-week course designed to improve oral communication in Spanish. In this workshop, students will create a three-part video in the style of a Spanish-language telenovela, or soap-opera. Along the way, they will engage in speaking and listening activities that will sharpen their oral skills. This is a course for beginning and intermediate learners alike; any current Middle School Spanish student or a heritage speaker is welcome to join.

    Course Dates | Times: July 6-17 |  9:30-10:30 AM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Eric Quinones

    Participation Eligibility | Enrollment Limit:
    Any current Middle School Spanish student or a heritage speaker is welcome to join.
  • Intro to Procreate: Illustration on the iPad

    Learn how to draw and paint on-the-go this summer, all you will need is your iPad and your imagination to create digital illustrations. We will start with Procreate fundamentals like setting up a canvas, using brushes and tools, creating and managing layers, and using the color picker and palettes. Inspired by David Hockney’s en plein air iPad paintings, you will learn the steps of how to compose and execute a digital painting that documents wherever you may be. Next, you will develop a character and bring it to life with basic animation tools. You will come away from this course with workflow tips and tricks for Procreate and a portfolio of digital art! 

    Course Dates | Times:
    July 6-17 |10-11 AM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Stephanie Teo

    Materials Needed:
    Procreate(iPad app ( $10 one time fee), optional Apple pencil or stylus. The teacher has a tutorial of how to make a DIY stylus.  
     
  • Knot Tying Workshop

    Knowing how to tie a few simple knots will make your outdoor adventures much easier. In these two virtual sessions, FSOP staff will demonstrate their five favorite knots, including: the Figure Eight knot, the Clove Hitch and the Tautline Hitch. We’ll show how these knots are used in nature and will walk you  through a step-by-step process to master these knots. Shoelaces, old clothesline, or any rope you have on hand will be all that’s needed for participants to get started tying knots! 

    Program Dates | Times: Monday, Aug. 3 and Tuesday, Aug. 4 | 10-10:45 AM 

    Course Instructor(s): Jack Phelan and Deanna Yurchuk

    Participation Eligibility| Enrollment Limit:
    MS Grades 5-8  | Maximum Capacity: 10

    Materials Needed:
    Shoelaces, old clothesline, or any rope you have on hand (about 2ft)
     
  • Latin Composition Workshop: Reimagining the Trojan War

    This two-week course is intended for rising ninth grade students who have completed Latin II. Students will have the opportunity to exercise their imaginations while deepening their understanding of Latin and strengthening their writing skills in the language. Over two weeks, students will create a multimedia project in which they adopt the persona of a Greek hero or heroine. Drawing on their knowledge of Latin grammar and syntax, they will write a speech persuading their fellow Greeks to fight alongside them in the Trojan War. To complement their speech, students will devise a social media marketing campaign and slogan--also in Latin. Students will create their project using Google Slides, which will allow the instructor to offer detailed feedback throughout the process. 

    Course Dates | Times: July  6-17 | 11 AM - 12 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Julia Larmore

    Participation Eligibility:
    Grade 8 students who have completed Latin II
  • Make Anything Out of Paper!

    In this class we will discover paper craft as a creative and versatile artistic process. We will make three dimensional forms using paper. We will learn how to make paper sculptures, pop-ups, models, and volumetric forms out of a simple piece of paper. We will use techniques such as creasing, cut-scoring, and indentation. We will play, have fun and increase our imaginative and constructive powers!

    Course Dates | Times: June 29 - July 10 | 2:30-3:30 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Phyllis Trout

    Materials Needed:
    Pacon Tag Board 9x12” Manila (13111-1103); Elmer’s Glue All 1.25 oz. (23886-1003); Fiskars No.5 Micro-tip Scissors (57013-1005). Material Cost $18.49 before taxes and shipping, https://www.dickblick.com/
     
  • Making Games for Good

    Middle School students will use our new digital library Sora, our magazine and periodicals newsstand Flipster, a computer graphics application such as Wixie, Photoshop or Illustrator, and the Scratch programming language to construct a game that will educate its players about a specific topic within the broad categories of Civil Rights and Climate change. Why some critical topics are not necessarily suitable for a game format will also be discussed and acted upon. Students will work collaboratively to review games at the Games for Change website, research and become informed about their topic, and create the game's graphics and code so that it is interactive and reflects a deepened understanding of their topic. 

    Course Dates | Times: July 6-10 | 10:30-11:30 AM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Judith Seidel

    Materials Needed: C
    omputer or iPad; an activated FS Sora account; access to other applications will be provided by the School
  • Math Puzzles!

    Math sure is puzzling! Why can't you divide by zero? What are "Zeno's paradoxes"? What's the biggest number we can think of, and how do we get it? Are there any riddles that involve math? In this one-week course, we will explore the FUN side of math by answering these questions and more. The idea is to rediscover the joy of math, without all the tedious work students encounter in school (yes, yes, we admit it...schoolwork can be tedious!). While the teacher will choose most of the topics to be explored in the course, students are also encouraged to ask their own math-related questions for investigation.

    Course Dates | Times: July 13-17 |1-2 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Clayton Raithel
  • Meeting Places: Digital Storytelling in the Outdoors

    One of our favorite adages in the FSOP is “Take only pictures, leave only footprints." We invite the community to consider the following queries: What are our favorite outdoor spaces? Why are they special? How can we protect them? Join us this summer for a workshop on digital storytelling. How do we capture the essence of a place in one photograph? Students will learn basic photography composition and how to write a clear caption. Students will have two weeks to submit their photo. It may be of anything found in nature: a sunset, a park, a trail, a flower, water, etc. At the end of the month, we will create a collage of FS students’ favorite outdoor spaces. An invitation to participate in this project will also be sent to other schools all over the world.  

    Program Dates | Times: Thursday, Aug. 6 and Thursday, Aug. 20 | 10-11 AM  

    Course Instructor(s):
    Deanna Yurchuk and Jack Phelan

    Participation Eligibility:
    MS Grades 5-8 

    Materials Needed:
     Camera (cell phone cameras are great!)
  • Natural Navigation

    How do you navigate your world? Is it through familiarity? Or repetition? Ancient navigators used a variety of techniques that came through observing the natural world. Join us as we learn how to be more observant and know what to “look” for to sharpen our navigational sense. 

    Program Dates | Times: Tuesday, Aug. 18 | 10-10:45 AM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Jack Phelan and Deanna Yurchuk

    Participation Eligibility:
    MS Grades 5-8  

    Materials Needed:
    Pen and paper
  • Neuroscience Facts for FS!

    Inspired by the website “Neuroscience for Kids,” “Neuroscience Facts for FS!” is a survey course delving into the brain and nervous system to discover how functions such as learning and memory, sleep and even our subconscious lead to our behavior. This course will also explore parts of the brain, neural connections in particular brain regions and what occurs when these connections go awry in neurological disorders. We will further explore and design our own brain games, which blend psychology and neuroscience, such as the popular Stroop task, memory tasks and facial recognition tasks. This survey course will culminate in the creation of an original brain game by students using the summarization of the work we discuss to test our own neural functions! Join us and take away some new and fun facts about brain function and behavior. You may not learn how to read minds, but you will know how yours and others work!

    Course Dates | Times: July 6-17 | 10-11 AM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Shayri Greenwood
  • Shuffles and Slides w/ Mama Adia

    Do you like to dance with your family and friends at wedding or graduation receptions, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, birthday, or slumber parties? Have you ever been at a celebration when a song comes on and everyone starts dancing in unison, but you don't know the steps? Shuffles and Slides may be for you and your loved ones ages 5 to 95. The Electric Slide, The Bus Stop, The Mississippi Cha Cha Slide, The Cupid Shuffle, The Biker Shuffle, and the Wobble are just some of the dances that we will do and talk about during this one week dance course that will explore the cultural context and choreography of ten intergenerational social dances done in the African-American community.  

    Course Dates | Times: July 6-10 |10-11 AM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Adia Whitaker
  • Stress-Free Grammar Games and Review

    Feeling a little rusty in grammar? Want to make sure you're ready to succeed in grammar next year? Through easy-to-understand explanations, interactive activities, and fun games and videos, this course will help you review some of the fundamental grammar concepts you need to master in Middle School. Topics will include the parts of speech, subjects and predicates, common and proper nouns, apostrophe usage, basic punctuation rules, and others. There won't be any homework or tests, but there will be lots of learning and fun — it's grammar without the stress!

    Course Dates | Times:
    June 29 - July 10 | 3-4 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Leana Phipps
  • The Responsible Outdoors Person

    Heading out on a hike and wondering how to do so responsibly? The FSOP staff are eager to share their ideas of how to plan for the day and what to pack. The session will include a presentation of the seven principles of Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, important considerations for all environmental stewards. We’ll also share our favorite trail snacks and some fun games you can play along the way.  

    Program Dates | Times: Thursday, Aug. 13 | 10-10:45 AM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Jack Phelan and Deanna Yurchuk

    Participation Eligibility:
    MS Grades 5-8

Upper School Summer Bridge

Friends Seminary is excited to launch the first Upper School Summer Bridge enrichment electives, which we offer as remote learning courses from the weeks of June 29-July 17. Some classes are offered as consecutive-two-week classes of synchronous learning, and some are offered as three-week courses with a middle week of asynchronous learning. For classes that occur during the July 4 holiday, instructors will work with enrolled students and families on determining whether classes meet on July 3 or whether rescheduling that class makes more sense. 

Our ambition is to run all classes that have a minimum of eight students and a maximum of 15 students. We hope to offer one course to any interested student who registers by the end of the day on Tuesday, June 16, and if we are able, a second class as well. We will cancel any classes with registration of fewer than eight students. Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be informed later during the week of June 16 what class, if any, you have been enrolled in, or if your class was cancelled or fully subscribed when you registered. If you need to cancel your registration, please let us know right away as we will maintain waiting lists.

On your registration form, you are encouraged to record a preference of up to four courses. If there are only three (or two or one) in which you have an interest, you may register for only those classes. 

Once you have reviewed the elective offerings, please register student preferences here. Confirmation of course enrollment will be emailed to the registrant by Monday, June 22.

Classes Open to Students Entering Grades 9-12

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • A Brief Survey of Modern Physics

    Through a close reading of Brian Greene’s The Fabric of the Cosmos, students will gain a conceptual understanding of modern physics, including relativity and quantum mechanics, and think about what they mean for our understanding of reality. At the end, students will present to each other on topics of interest. The course is almost entirely non-mathematical.

    Course Dates | Times: June 29-July 17 (one week of synchronous classes; one week off; a final week of synchronous classes) synchronous classes will meet Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays | 3:30-4:30 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Alex Lavy

    Materials Needed to Purchase for Course: 
    The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene
     
  • American Speculative Short Fiction: Samuel Delany and George Saunders

    In their strange, funny and sometimes disturbing fiction, Samuel Delany and George Saunders imagine future or alternate universes that lead readers to consider some of the most insidious features of American life. In Saunders’ stories, a civil-war themed amusement park is threatened by marauding bands of teenagers and haunted by the ghosts of the civil war dead, a man volunteers to be a caveman in a human diorama in a zoo, teenagers give up their freedom to be celebrity product testers and brand advertisers, and suburban families decorate their lawns with living human ornaments.  Delany’s stories imagine the struggles of futuristic working classes such as undervalued spaceship mechanics and a segment of the population with gills forced to work underwater. In this two-week course we will read 3-4 stories by each author; we will then write and talk about what the stories mean and what they lead us to consider about our own world.

    Course Dates | Times: July 6-17 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays |  10-11 AM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Josh Goren

    Materials Needed to Purchase for Course:
    Aye and Gomorrah, and Other Stories by Samuel Delany and In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders
  • Commit to be Fit!

    The main objective of this course is to teach students fundamental fitness
    concepts through safe, fun, and active fitness activities. Students will learn more about the 5 components of fitness, how to goal-set, how to perform a variety of different exercises, and even how to design their own workout programs by using the F.I.T.T principle as a guideline. It will be a great start in learning new ways to stay fit and healthy and have fun while doing it!

    Course Dates | Times:
    July 6-17 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays | 11 AM - Noon

    Course Instructor(s):
    Deanna Petrucci
  • Digital Music-Making: Collaborative Recording, Audio Editing, Songwriting and Anything in Between!

    At all times but especially with the present state of the world, music has the power to heal, to transform, and to give voice to our lived experiences. In making music, we invite others to gather, to reflect, to mourn, to celebrate. Without the ability to gather and make music in person, Kristin invites students to lean into some digital tools that enable collaborative music-making from afar.

    In this session, students will record, edit, and share music using digital platforms. In the beginning of the first week, we will explore recording and editing tools; students will build skills and strengthen their confidence with Soundtrap (audio only) and Acapella (audio and video). By the end of the first week, students will begin to record music independently and/or with others in the class. During the second week, students will learn the basics of audio editing and have the opportunity to practice more advanced post-production techniques to create a finished product that they are proud of (and perhaps even willing to share with others).

    Students can participate in a variety of projects designed by Kristin, or they can design their own. Tabb Dendy, our collaborative pianist, will be on hand to record anything that students need for their projects. Projects designed by Kristin include:
    • Choose a song you like. Get a piano track from Tabb. Record your voice. Optional: add harmony and/or collaborators.
    • Choose a song you like. Create and record your own arrangement of it (with instruments or a cappella).
    • Create a circle-song by layering your own recorded voice. Optional: add collaborators.
    • Write and record an original song. (No previous songwriting experience necessary.)
    Course Dates | Times: June 29 - July 10 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays | 1:30-2:30 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Kristin Marchilena

    Materials Needed:
    A device with access to either a) the Soundtrap mobile app or b) the Soundtrap website via the Google Chrome browser; a mobile device with access to the free app Acapella; headphones; a quiet(ish) space to record music; optional but definitely not required: a USB microphone (and adapter, if necessary).
  • Homer’s Odyssey

    When Odysseus finally arrives at Ithaca, twenty years after he had left for the war at Troy, he does not, at first, recognize that he is home. His wife, Penelope, hasn’t left the island, but she hardly feels at home in a palace overrun by suitors demanding that she marry one of them if her long-lost husband doesn’t soon return. Afraid the suitors will kill him, Odysseus disguises himself as a beggar, and it’s not clear when Penelope recognizes him as her husband.  

    The story of Odysseus’s extraordinary journey and homecoming has engaged audiences since 800 BCE.  Homer's epic is as thought-provoking as it is fun to read. As we read Emily Wilson’s 2018 translation of the poem—the first English translation by a woman—we will grapple with the poem’s enduring questions. How do we recognize a beloved from whom we have been separated? How are human beings distinct from the gods, animals, and monsters Odysseus encounters on his journey? What is it that makes us feel human and at home?

    Course Dates | Times: June 29-July 17 (one week of synchronous classes; one week for independent reading; a final week of synchronous classes). Synchronous classes will meet daily Monday-Friday during the week of June 29-July 3 and July 13-17 |  3-4 PM 

    Course Instructor(s):
    Maria Fahey

    Materials Needed to Purchase for Course:
    A paper copy of Homer's The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson, published by W. W. Norton and Co.
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer: An Introduction

    Isaac Bashevis Singer, one of only eleven Americans to win the Nobel prize for literature, was born in Poland, wrote only in Yiddish, and supervised his novels’ translations into English. His 18 novels and numerous stories engage an expansive range of the Ashkenazi Jewish experience in Europe and America from medieval times to his contemporary New York. Singer was a New Yorker (West. 86th St. is named after him), an American Jew, a Jewish American, and a remnant of a dying Yiddish culture that once thrived in New York, especially on the Lower East Side just south of Friends Seminary. To read him is to encounter a diversity of European and American Jewish life: Jewish history of the last thousand years, the more recent American Jewish experience, Jewish culture, tradition, marriage and love, vegetarianism, magic, angels and devils, con-men, Marxism, drunks, religious belief and non-belief, conversion, persecution, the experience and legacy of the Holocaust, Israel, humor, immigration, expulsion, slavery, suffering and joy. In this course, a three-week introduction to Singer’s works, students will first read and discuss three representative short stories of Singer’s from different moments in his career.  In an interim asynchronous week, students read Singer’s 1962 novel The Slave, which we will then discuss in the subsequent third week. At the end of the first and third week, students will write short reflective response papers.

    Course Dates | Times: June 29 - July 10 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays |  11 AM - 12 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Josh Goren

    Materials Needed to Purchase for Course:
    The Slave by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • Race, Justice and Circle Keeping — CPEJ Summer Offering

    The ethical urgency of our time calls us to cultivate critical awareness of race, how it shapes us all, and how we can pursue racial justice in everyday life. Pursuing racial justice begins with self-examination and courageous conversations. CPEJ staff will offer four workshop sessions to educate Upper School students on how race works, what racial justice looks like, and how to facilitate dialogues for racial justice. Not only will students learn about theories of race and justice and how race shapes their own lives, but they will also learn how to use the historical practice of peacemaking circles to address racial issues. Such circles have been used for everything from teaching the fraught history of race and providing affinity spaces for reflection and sharing to mediating conflicts between individuals and groups of different racial identities. Students will meet with veteran circle keepers, experience a variety of circles as participants, and be afforded an opportunity to practice the skills associated with circle keeping. Student training will culminate in a circle session for the Friends community that will be co-facilitated with CPEJ staff. 

    Program Dates | Times: July 7, 9, 14, and 16 | 6-8 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    CPEJ Staff—Jason, Kimby, Leitzel

    Participation Eligibility | Enrollment Limit:
    US students | 24 students

    Materials Needed:
    A PDF reader with foundational articles will be provided to all participants. 

Classes Open to Students Entering Grades 11-12

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • American History Through Music

    Utilizing a number of primary and secondary source material, as well as recorded audio, this course will explore the development of music in America as both a cultural product, as well as cultural commentary. Beginning with an exploration of Black music during the colonial era, the course will work its way through the Revolutionary Period and the Civil War Era, before culminating in a three-part examination of the musical styles which arguably serve as the bedrock for the modern and contemporary sounds of Rock and Roll and Hip-Hop. The course will cover the time period right up to the ‘big bang’ of Rock and Roll in the 1950s brought about by the likes of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and the Sun Studios stable of artists, while the primary focus will be directed toward listening to the sounds, styles, and content of American music developed during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.
    Synchronous class sessions will be devoted to exploring major historical themes and concepts of each era, discussing academic readings on specific topics of music in America, and listening to selected audio tracks. Throughout the course, students will be required to keep a listening journal in order to note their reflections and reactions of the songs we will be highlighting. This course will culminate with a group podcast project that will involve any of the topics covered.

    WEEKLY BREAKDOWN
    1. Intro / Black Music of the Colonial Era
    2. Black Music of the Colonial Era
    3. Revolutionary Songs
    4. Sounds of Civil War and Reconstruction
    5. Foundations of Modern Music: Jazz, Blues, and Folk
    6. Foundations of Modern Music: Jazz, Blues, and Folk
    7. Foundations of Modern Music: Jazz, Blues, and Folk
    8. Culminating Presentations

    Course Dates | Times:
    July 6-17 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays |  12:30-1:30 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Stefan Stawnychy

    Materials Needed to Purchase for Course:
    Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music that Made a Nation (Jon Meacham & Tim McGraw) -- Available on the Kindle Reader from Amazon. No physical copy required. Students will also need a subscription to an online streaming service such as Spotify.
     
  • Crime and Punishment

    A young student, heavily in debt, decides to kill a corrupt pawn broker. He reasons that her money will give him the freedom he needs to achieve greatness, to help others, and to prove his exceptionalism. In this class, we’ll read and discuss Fyodor Dostoevsky’s great crime novel, Crime and Punishment. The novel begins with Raskolnikov’s less than perfectly executed murder of Alyona Ivanovna and traces his subsequent internal struggle with the crime he has committed. Crime and Punishment offers its readers an in-depth psychological study of a desperate young man on the run from the police; his quest for redemption delves into questions of Russian politics, guilt and shame, forgiveness, and how our choices define us, especially our worst choices. 

    Course Dates | Times: June 29-July 10 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays | 10:30-11:30 AM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Kate Olson

    Materials Needed to Purchase for this Course:
    Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment
  • Food & Culture

    Humans have been sharing meals for as long as we have been human, and even today eating is a social, cultural, and political act. Our food choices can contribute to the destruction of our habitat or can bring us together. In this class, food will be our lens to think about science, community, politics, race, the environment, and justice. We’ll also practice ancient baking by making sourdough bread, among other recipes. All levels of cooking expertise are welcomed, but you should be willing to bake.

    Course Dates | Times: June 29-July 17 - 11 AM - 12 PM

    Course Instructor(s):
    Alex Lavy
     
    Materials Needed for this Course: kitchen access with basic tools, and two books: The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael Twitty and The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber
  • Life out of Balance: Restoration in Native American Literature

    As we live through a particularly unsettled, unbalanced time, how can the past help us to make sense of our present? Through careful study of a Native American novel, we will consider the power of identity, ritual, and ceremony. While we identify intergenerational trauma and grapple with questions around American identity, we will also consider how our interactions with nature, industry, and capitalism can heal or corrupt our understanding of ourselves and our relationships. 

    We will read Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony, and students will keep a digital journal where they will reflect on the readings, offer close readings of passages, practice writing exercises that focus on decolonization, and challenge their assumptions about Native American history and identity. Together as a class, we will view the 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi to unlock our reading of the novel. Class discussions and activities will feature a variety of reflection exercises and protocols. 

    Course Dates | Times: June 29-July 17 (one week of synchronous classes; one week off; a final week of synchronous classes); synchronous classes will meet Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays | 1-2 PM

    Course Instructor(s): 
    Paige Sweet

    Materials Needed to Purchase for this Course:
    Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (Penguin Classic anniversary edition, ISBN 0143104918; paperback copy preferred over digital text; used copies are fine!)
  • “Not a Story to Pass On”:  Toni Morrison’s Beloved

    Toni Morrison’s Beloved is widely considered one of the great works of literature about the trauma of American slavery. At the end of the novel, the narrator insists, “This is not a story to pass on.” Is the narrator insisting that we shouldn’t tell anyone else this story? Or is the narrator instructing us not to take a pass on the story, to listen to the story whether we want to or not?  This pun on “pass on” captures the paradox of how the story of the unspeakable atrocities of American slavery is as necessary as it is dangerous.  

    Beloved is a difficult novel to read: its story is often horrifying and its inventive narrative form (which includes multiple narrative voices and a mysterious ghost) is often hard to comprehend. In this two-week course, we will try to sort out the novel’s challenging plot as we strive to understand the disorienting experiences of communities haunted by trauma. Morrison’s novel challenges us to acknowledge profoundly dehumanizing events in our nation’s history, and it also invites us to imagine how humanity might be restored. The novel lays bare the potential evil of human society even as it suggests the potential good in the human community. As we consider the effect of story-telling and song on the characters within the novel, we will consider the effect of this great novel on our on-line community of readers.

    Course Dates | Times: July 6-17 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays | Noon-1 PM

    Course Instructor(s): Maria Fahey

    Materials Needed to Purchase for this Course:
    A paper copy of Toni Morrison's Beloved.
  • Orlando: A Biography

    Orlando: A Biography, Virginia Woolf’s most popular novel, tells the story of a young nobleman, a character inspired by the life of her long term friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West. Orlando begins the novel in the Elizabethan court and goes on to live across centuries and continents and becomes a woman. Since its publication, Orlando has been a feminist classic that has inspired wide-ranging critical conversatitons. In this class, we will read Orlando, and perhaps some of the feminist and queer literary criticism that it has inspired, to consider questions of transformation, desire, art, identity, femininity, and the representation of experience. Our discussions will focus on how we write about experiences for which language and literature have not traditionally made space.

    Course Dates | Times: July 6-17 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays | 2:30-3:30 PM

    Course Instructor(s): Kate Olson

    Materials Needed to Purchase for this Course:
    Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf
  • The Mathematics of Voting and Gerrymandering

    In this two week intensive, we will study the higher order math principles of Set Theory, various Voting Theory methods for determining a winning candidate, Fairness Criteria, Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, Apportionment, the United States Electoral College System, and Gerrymandering as both a strategy and tool of oppression. Here is the detailed description of days:

    Day 1: Set Theory and Counting Principals.
    Day 2: Voting Methods and Fairness Criteria.
    Day 3: Apportionment and Allotments of Representatives.
    Day 4: Apportionment Paradoxes and Arrow’s Theorem.
    Day 5: The Math and Strategies of the Electoral College System.
    Day 6: What is Gerrymandering?
    Day 7: Examples of Gerrymandering Through History.
    Day 8: What Can We Do As Citizens and Mathematicians to Combat Gerrymandering?

    Course Dates | Times: June 29-July 17 (one week of synchronous classes; one week off; a final week of synchronous classes); synchronous classes will meet Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays | 10-11 AM

    Course Instructor(s): 
    Coleman Hall
  • Theater for Social Change

    This course is open to any students, actors and non-actors, interested in learning about and creating societal change through theater. The course will demonstrate how performance structures can challenge and address community issues including racism, homophobia, and other social inequities and injustices. Through readings and viewings of plays, we will look at specific moments in history where theater has helped to make a positive change in regards to such issues as power, privilege, social identity, and oppression. We will focus on playwrights including Anna Deavere Smith, Moises Kaufman, and Emily Mann who have dedicated their work towards non-violent action for social change, community building, and oppression awareness. We will be reading and watching plays; you do not need any prior theater experience for this course. 

    Course Dates | Times: July 6-17 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays| 2:30-3:30 PM 

    Course Instructor(s): 
    Steve Borowka
Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.

 
FRIENDS SEMINARY
222 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
P: 212-979-5030
F: 212.979.5034